A good fall day to day you, I hope that you had a lovely Canadian thanksgiving weekend, and a great weekend, if you remember back in the spring, I planned to grow in the great butternut squash grow out being done locally
Let say first, I grow butternut squash yearly, I love it, and I grow a lot of it, so I honestly thought.. no problem.. NEVER do that when it comes to gardening LOL
The first thing was instead of popping in squash here and there on edges and in differnet beds and gardens, I decided to do a new hilled huge area just for this project, I have done the same method for five years now and when it comes to squash they love it
But! I ran out of certain compost spot, no problem right, grab from a different spot and mix it with well turned pig compost from the back barn.. Boy was I wrong..
Everything I planted in this mix struggled this year and I do mean everything.. but back to the story at hand, I got it ready, I got it planted and nothing.. I watered the hills, nothing.. around me, others where having 90 plus seed starting rates, in my other areas, squash seeds where up and growing..
(this should have been the clue to start again) but instead I reworked the hills, and watered and watered them, finally stunted fragile seeds came up.. and did nothing.. I weeded and checked and babied them, I watered, I finally had hubby haul a 55 gallon drum, my first extra water nettle tea, then I tried my green tea..
and time was moving on.. I was watching these plants in horror , I had been given a huge amount of seeds, I had given a huge amount of land to this and I had nothing to show for it..
I growled, and ripped it all apart, I was down to 24 seedlings, they had two to four true leaves and others already where in flower and running.. I pulled off a 3 by 3 section of 6 plus inch straw, I remixed the hills and put them on the ground, and I replanted them, will water feedings of comfrey tea and finally they took off
I shook my head and shugged the shoulders and pretty much walked away at that point, if any made it to fruit, it would be few indeed.. out of the 70 seeds, 24 made the transplant, 11 lived..
Yup.. 11 plants was all that made it to producing for 2015.. those 11 plants produced 41 butternuts, for a total of 106.6 pounds of squash.. I only got eight over 4 pounds but I will still take it, the average was three to four pounds.
I saved seed from the biggest, best shaped and with good skins, this was a good thing, as it means that I can send seed back but I can also keep back 10 or 20 seeds to mix with the ones sent to me for next years grow out.
I have placed the best quality but 3 pound ones into storage and the rest are being canned or baked and mashed and frozen up.
The flesh is paler then normal and very mild, I am interested if the curing time will help on this or if its just because the plants rushed to get these to turn for fall.
Its a good amount of butternut but certainly not my normal amount, am short about 200 pounds from where I wanted to be on these. I am grateful I got any and have seeds to send back, and I learned more about compost, what each critter gives or lacks in their poos this year, and was reminded that I do things for a reason..